LANCE CORPORAL Ransford Odei Djaba, an investigator in the trial of Thomas Alan Tichler, a Briton standing trial for allegedly inserting his fingers into the private parts of a three-year girl, yesterday told an Accra Circuit Court that the accused person used his right fingers during the alleged act.
He told the court presided over by Mrs. Georgina Mensah-Datsa that when he took Tichler to the house of the victim to be interrogated, the three-year-old led them to the hall where the alleged act took place, pointed at the right fingers of the accused person, and said those were the fingers he used on her “shody”.
The investigator, who said the victim easily identified the accused person, also noted that she called him “Uncle Tom”.
He went on that the little girl said her elder siblings were in another room in response to a question put to her as to where her other siblings were during the alleged act.
Mr. Djaba said these in his evidence-in-chief led by Barbara Sackey, a state attorney.
He noted that Tichler, who is a British Overseas Consultant, was standing in the hall with him while the three-year-old girl was narrating the story at their North Legon residence, adding that afterwards, the victim climbed and sat on one of the tables in the hall.
He indicated that the girl said she reported the incident to her mother.
In addition, he said the accused person initially did not want to give his statement as his counsel was not around, but later gave it, denying the alleged act.
The policeman then tendered the statement of the accused person to the court, noting that it was the parents of the victim who reported the matter to the Legon Police and a medical form was issued for the little girl to go to the 37 Military Hospital.
He again tendered the panties the girl wore after the said incident, however, the blood-stained panties had already been tendered by another witness.
The investigator continued that the consultant was initially put before a District Magistrate Court of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly where he was charged with causing harm and was ordered to surrender his passport and report to the police every Friday, which he did.
Explaining further, he said Tichler was re-arrested upon the orders of the Attorney-General after he had concluded his investigations, with the Briton still denying both charges of indecent assault and causing harm.
Under cross-examination by Eliss Owusu-Fordjour, lawyer
for the accused person, Mr. Djaba admitted that he went to the house of the little girl's parents on October 19, 2007, two days after the incident.
He also admitted that Tichler was the only white person who went to the house of the girl's parents for the identification.
Mr. Fordjour put it to Mr. Djaba that he made it easier for the little girl to identify the accused person, thereby practicing “biased positive identification”, but the investigator explained that the consultant had already been identified by the Legon Police before he took over the case.
Counsel for the accused suggested that his client initially protested against the idea of going back to the house of the complainant for fear of his life, but the investigator said he had no idea about such protest as Tichler never mentioned it.
In response to a question as to whether there were other people in the house at the time of the alleged defilement, the witness said there were some workers outside the house and a houseboy.
On the statement of the accused person, witness agreed with the assertion by Mr. Fordjour that his client stated that he visited the washroom and there was no water for him to wash his hands which was why he requested for water to wash his hands when victim's mother came from town.
According to the consultant's statement, when the father of the little girl, Mr. Barimah left the kids in his care to go and buy something in town, they did some drawing and later started bouncing on the sofa.
Mr. Tony Lithur, another counsel for the accused person, asked the witness whether he was the one who alleged the victim had undergone surgery. To this question, Mr. Djaba said he was not the one.
The case has been adjourned to December 21, 2007.
By Fidelia Achama